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Using social media to overcome a negative guest experience

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Presentation from Communicating to the Public and Employees In The Age Of Social Media, a Ragan Conference in Vancouver on September 13-15, 2010

Presentation from Communicating to the Public and Employees In The Age Of Social Media, a Ragan Conference in Vancouver on September 13-15, 2010

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Using social media to overcome a negative guest experience Using social media to overcome a negative guest experience Presentation Transcript

  • WESTJET SOCIAL MEDIA Using social media to overcome a negative guest experience
  • OUR FLIGHT ITINERARY a.k.a. what the next 60 minutes will look like
    • Introduction to WestJet
    • Overview of October to December 2009
    • Social Media anecdotes and interactions
    • Takeaways and lessons learned
  • THE WESTJET STORY Stop me now if you’ve heard this before…
  • WestJet TOOK TO THE SKIES ON FEB 29,1996 We had 200 people, three Boeing 737-200s and five destinations…
  • WESTJET NETWORK IN 1996
  • WESTJET NETWORK IN 2009
  • WESTJET FUN FACTS Some Twitter fodder for you (#WestJet & #SocMedBC)
    • Number of WestJetters 7,800
    • Average number of unsolicited resumes 1,200/week
    • Average number of guests per week 270,000
    • Number of cookies cosumed last year 4,150,000
    • Coldest day for TAC agents -54 degrees
    • # of marriage proposals onboard 433
    • Fastest aircraft turn time 6 minutes
  • OUR PEOPLE ARE OUR STRENGTH Language makes a difference
    • Team Leaders vs. Supervisors
    • People vs. Employees
    • Promises vs. Policies
    • Guests vs. Passengers
    • 2010 – inducted into Canada’s 10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures Hall of Fame
    • 2010 – first place in Airline Staff Service Excellence (North America) at the World Airline Awards
  • SOME BACKGROUND what happened in late 2009
    • Existing reservation system was outdated
    • Add interlining and codesharing capability
    • Add rewards program, credit card, more options
    • A new reservation system was necessary
  • “ Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts.” Arnold Bennet 1867-1931 PEOPLE DON’T LIKE CHANGE a 48-character quote for your twitterfeed
  • KEY COMPONENTS OF THIS CHANGE What happened behind the scenes
    • October 16-17: Migrated 800,000+ records
    • Data transfer and cutover was successful
    • Unexpected glitches in live environment
    • Negative impact on some guests
  • KEY COMPONENTS OF THIS CHANGE What happened in front
    • Longer transaction times, longer wait time
    • New system for our people
    • New website – unfamiliar to guests
    • New guest profiles & travel credits
    • New reservation numbers for existing reservations
  • COMPLAINT OR OPPORTUNITY
    • Complaints are inevitable in any business
    • A complaint is an opportunity to showcase your problem solving and communication skills.
    • “ For the most part, all it takes is a touch of humanity to turn a disgruntled customer into an appreciative fan or follower.”
    • - Blogger Dany Levy, during the Iceland ash cloud challenges.
  • COMPLAINT OR OPPORTUNITY
  • COMPLAINT OR OPPORTUNITY
  • COMPLAINT OR OPPORTUNITY
  • SUCCESSFUL RESOLUTION The right information The right information
  • SUCCESSFUL RESOLUTION The right information
    • Social media is an open forum
    • Every possible question will come on social media
    • Social media specialists need to have the answers or at least have access to find the answers
    • A timely answer is very important to the other person
    • Establish what social media specialists can and cannot do
  • SUCCESSFUL RESOLUTION Give it a personal touch The right information Give it a personal touch
  • SUCCESSFUL RESOLUTION Give it a personal touch
    • People are less likely to be upset if they are communicating with a real person
    • Representatives can be called “Brandividuals”
    • Brandividual (n): an individual employee who draws on her or his personal identity as well as the organization or brand’s identity, to represent the organization or brand in online relationships.
  • DEALING WITH NEGATIVE FEEDBACK Don’t be afraid Don’t be afraid
  • DEALING WITH NEGATIVE FEEDBACK Don’t be afraid
    • Don’t take it personally
    • Complaints need to be acknowledged
    • Communicate openly and honestly
    • Focus on the positive wherever possible
    • Take complaints offline
  • FEEDBACK IS NOT ALL NEGATIVE Each organization will integrate differently Integration is key
  • IN SUMMARY The keys to success
    • Ensure your social media team has the right info
    • Personalize the online interaction
    • Have patience while communicating openly and honestly
    • Acknowledge the negative while focusing on the positive
    • Take complaints offline
    • Integrate social media feedback
  • SO DID IT WORK? A couple examples
  • DID IT WORK? It worked then
  • DID IT WORK? It worked then and it works now
  • Questions?
  • Greg Hounslow Emerging Media Advisor WestJet @SixFourG facebook.com/westjet youtube.com/westjet twitter.com/westjet THANK YOU!